• Cecile Corral

Sweetgum Textiles sprouts eco-friendly goods

New England-based luxury textiles designer launches e-comm site

Wenham, MA – Sweetgum Textiles takes its textiles for a walk in New England’s woods.

Verdure-conjuring names like “reed,” “forest,” “branch & berry,” “silverweed” and others evoke the line’s ethically- and eco-conscious assortment.

Launched last year, Sweetgum began as a source of fabric yardage for designers. But within months, the company added finished goods – pillows and table runners followed by kitchen napkins and tea towels. Influenced by New England landscapes, each design utilizes natural fibers and is manufactured locally near headquarters here “to ensure quality and ethical production,” the company noted.
Sandra Venus_Sweetgum TextilesSandra Venus

“We have the ability to create custom interior goods from our line of yardage and believe that offering this service of custom designed pillows and table runners from our line of fabrics helps to differentiate Sweetgum from other textiles companies that only offer yardage,” Sandra Venus, who founded Sweetgum with her husband Jon Richardson, told POSH.

Venus studied fine arts at R.I.S.D. and architecture at U.W. in Seattle. Her process for creating textile designs involves using a variety of mediums – hand sketching, photography, watercolor and digital illustration. For all of products, the company uses natural fibers and inks that don't damage the environment during the printing process. 

The finished goods line is created from fabric that is digitally- and/or screen-printed.

“We plan to continue to design fabrics that are printed in different ways as there are benefits and special qualities about both of these methods,” she continued. “[And] we will continue to offer yardage for interior designers as the finished product line grows.”

As part of its eco-conscious effort, Sweetgum has partnered with non-profit organization 1% For The Planet, and donates 1% of total sales to New England environmental organizations that help to protect conservation lands and natural habitats.

“Living near the coast of Massachusetts, I find inspiration in the natural landscape of the region,” she said. “Our patterns are inspired by the landscape of New England and so we are dedicated to helping to protect that landscape that inspires us.”

In the coming months, Sweetgum will be focused on expanding its kitchen linens line, Venus said.

“What I love about kitchen linens is that the colors of the fabric can reflect the different seasons of the year in a way that's not possible with upholstered fabric,” she explained. “My designs for kitchen linens tend to be more casual than the repeat designs for interior yardage.”

Cecile CorralCecile Corral | Senior Product Editor, Home & Textiles Today

Cecile B. Corral has been a product editor with Home Textiles Today since late 2000. She covers the area and accent rug, kitchen textiles, table linens, beach towels, decorative bath and decorative pillow categories, as well as some retail subjects.

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HTT Cover October 2017

See the October 2017 issue of Home & Textiles Today. In this issue, we look at the Top 25 Online Retailers.  H&TT's exclusive annual ranking of the biggest online sellers of home textiles finds that while pure play etailers continue to fly, bricks & clicks are digging into omnichannel. See details!